Definition of expendable in English:



  • 1Of relatively little significance, and therefore able to be abandoned or destroyed.

    ‘the region is expendable in the wider context of national politics’
    • ‘Political pundits knew that he was politically expendable, but few expected him to be expended so quickly.’
    • ‘We are expendable pawns in a political chess game, and we resent the very real damage they do to us every single day.’
    • ‘Millions of people - who have suffered decades of war and sanctions - are once again used as expendable stakes in an imperial gambit by the rich and powerful.’
    • ‘The harsh reality of military life is that the guy would have to be someone relatively expendable.’
    • ‘The group was seen as inferior and therefore expendable.’
    • ‘Where he may have erred is in adding the stress and strain of another job when others could have carried it out just as well, others who were, perhaps, more expendable.’
    • ‘Therefore, we were expendable and they made sure we knew it.’
    • ‘Once the film has killed off all its expendable characters, it spends far too much time trying to explain the source of the evil cell phones.’
    • ‘She could have at least made an effort at candidness, but Mike reckoned once you'd been to the other side, sincerity was an expendable commodity.’
    • ‘In this scandalous era, savvy operatives like him are expendable.’
    • ‘Both were more or less expendable from his point of view.’
    • ‘To treat the resultant civilian casualties as ‘regrettable but inevitable’ is to regard innocent lives as expendable.’
    • ‘Sure, people will see movies regardless of a reviewer's opinion, but this does not make critics expendable, as you infer in your letter.’
    • ‘They were weak, expendable with relatively little power in the committee structure.’
    • ‘What makes some art expendable and some art permanent?’
    • ‘Jacob knew he was expendable once he was inside the container.’
    • ‘These points appear to have been manufactured with expediency, and they were therefore likely expendable.’
    • ‘It used to be that the Vice President was expendable, relatively unimportant and rather decorative.’
    • ‘Coaches are often treated as utterly expendable.’
    • ‘The main victims were overwhelmingly ill-educated working-class boys and therefore expendable.’
    dispensable, able to be sacrificed, replaceable
    disposable, throwaway, one use, single-use, replaceable
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    1. 1.1 (of an object) designed to be used only once and then abandoned or destroyed.
      ‘unmanned and expendable launch vehicles’
      • ‘As disastrous as the space shuttle destruction was, it resulted in reviving America's expendable launch vehicle industry.’
      • ‘He argued that expendable vehicles are already called upon to launch high-value unmanned payloads.’
      • ‘The remote-controlled vehicle is designed to be expendable, carries its own warhead, and uses cheaper components.’
      • ‘The orbital space plane will initially launch on an expendable vehicle and provide rescue capability for at least four crew members.’
      • ‘If the launching vehicle is an expendable rocket, the process is somewhat less complex.’
      • ‘It was not supposed to do anything that an expendable launcher would not do.’
      • ‘Under the hood, all original T-Bird parts were used in the restorations except for expendable items like the carburetor and the battery.’
      • ‘Just a few miles away, the company works on another expendable launch vehicle - the Delta IV.’
      • ‘This forced commercial satellites onto expendable launch vehicles, which had a higher risk of failure than the relatively safe shuttle.’
      • ‘Is it more economical and practical to have reusable launchers or low-cost expendable launchers?’
      • ‘The James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled for launch in 2010 aboard an expendable launch vehicle.’
      • ‘The workshop will address system studies and technology developments for future European expendable launchers and reusable launch vehicles.’
      • ‘If approved, the telescope mission could be ready for launch in 2014, on board a large expendable rocket.’
      • ‘One of the most important decisions to be made is whether Europe's new launchers will be expendable or reusable.’
      • ‘Which type of launcher can best meet these criteria: expendable or reusable?’
      • ‘Because it was easier to adapt existing military missiles, which are designed for a single flight, most launchers have been expendable.’
      • ‘Most are expendable packages attached to helium or hydrogen-filled weather balloons and only a small number of the sensors are retrieved.’
      • ‘The vast majority is taken by expendable launch vehicles.’
      • ‘Since January, eight spacecraft were deployed on seven expendable launch vehicles.’